Mortality and morbidity in African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) associated with construction noise and vibrations.
In Spring 2008, 175 adult female Xenopus laevis were exposed to construction-related vibrations that caused overt water rippling in the frog tanks. The 3 affected tanks were custom-built static, 300-gal ''pond-style'' tanks that sat on the floor of the housing room. The water in the tank developed visible ripples as a result of the vibrations transmitted through the floor during jack-hammering in an adjacent room that was approximately 10 ftaway. All frogs in the tanks displayed buoyancy problems, excessive air gulping, and skin sloughing; ultimately 7 frogs died. In addition, these 7 animals were bloated, and 5 of these 7 had regurgitated and everted their stomach and distal esophagus into the oral cavity, resulting in airway obstruction and death. Gross pathologic findings included regurgitation and eversion of the stomach of the distal portion of the esophagus into the oral cavity, obstruction of the airway, and lung overinflation. No significant histologic lesions were observed. Construction vibrations transmitted through the water appeared to have disrupted the mechanoreceptive function of the lateral line system, resulting in overstimulation of the noxious feeding response, regurgitation, and eversion of the stomach and distal esophagus into the oral cavity and subsequent suffocation due to airway obstruction. After immediate cessation of the jack-hammering and relocation of the remaining frogs, no additional morbidities or mortalities occurred.
PubMed ID: 22776127
PMC ID: PMC3314530
Genes referenced: gal.2 trim9